The Geisha With the Green Eyes by India Millar

The Geisha With the Green Eyes by India MillarThe Geisha With the Green Eyes by India Millar

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Small Publisher on August 16, 2016
Pages: 278
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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I enjoy romances that explore Asian history and give me a glimpse into another time and place and culture.  While The Geisha With the Green Eyes is not heavy on authenticity when it comes to her heroine’s situation and the whole idea of the Hidden Palace of women- which the author clearly states in her opening that she planned to deviate- the overall events and tone did give a glimpse of the entertainment and pleasure community of 1850s Edo (Tokyo) just as the Shogun era is ending.  The colorful and restricted world for a Geisha-style woman coming into her own was a captivating read.

The story opens with young Midori No Me (Green Eyes) begins her rite of passage as a pleasure worker of the Floating World of Edo when her virginity is sold to the highest bidder.  Her experience is painful and leaves her miserable that now she will be forced to entertain more men like the one who purchased her virginity.  Midori is not a slave in the traditional sense as she can buy her freedom and her debt is for her upkeep and provisions, but the likelihood of anything short of a rich benefactor making her his personal mistress and buying her debt, is slim.

Midori is not a traditional Geisha like those who live across the courtyard.  She and the other women of the Hidden House all possess some sort of difference and are thought of as freaks in some way and cater to men of diverse taste.  Midori is half-barbarian and has the hair color and eyes of her barbarian father.  She knows this is why her parents abandoned her to auntie and the Hidden House.  Her very differences are what make her fascinating to the men who come and she must cater to their every kinky whim.

But then her life is changed when the greatest actor of the kabuki theater sees her and he is interested for more than one appointment.  Envy comes from others and the unwelcoming attentions of a crime lord work to destroy her hope and happiness.  She had dared to dream of freedom, but she should have known that freedom was not for the likes of her.

Alright, as I said, this one is set in historic Japan of the 1850s.  Women of any class and caste are considered less than men.  The Geisha Houses are where the artists, musicians, and poets congregate as well as men of power and enterprise.  But this story is somewhat different in that the author invents a hybrid geisha-courtesan group where Midori and the others are called Geishas, but they also take the entertainment into the bedroom.

And whew boy, does it ever take it into the bedroom.  This story is erotic and descriptive where pretty much anything goes though not all happens to Midori herself.  I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but after a while, the erotic scenes got boring and I was skimming.  The sexual terminology was cringeworthy, too.  ‘Bursting his fruit’ ‘Splitting the Melon’ and more left me a little nauseated truth be told.  I didn’t need several scenes of Midori and her johns to get the idea and I just wanted the plot to move forward.

Midori herself is an interesting character full of depth and growth.  She is relatively ignorant as her experiences have never extended to much of an education or beyond the walls of the Hidden House.  The women and men who share her fate are the only family she has, but only one earns her trust as friend.  She has to learn about the world beyond the Hidden House and how the events from outside begin the change to her situation.  While she learns about events and affairs beyond her home, she also gets quite the education about men.  She is intuitive which makes her good at what she does, but being good at pleasing men and possessing an inquisitive and sometimes fiery nature also brings its own mishaps and sorrows as well as triumphs.

The romance in this one is on the back shelf compared to Midori’s individual story.  It was developed, but also not developed enough though it has a fairy tale quality to it.  I was actually confused at one point who she was in a romance with or if there was to be a love triangle, but that didn’t last long.

Other than some pacing issues and some of the sexual description, I did feel a little disappointment that at the end some things were left open leaving me to wonder what happened with those situations.  But overall, this was a bittersweet, but ultimately triumphant historical erotic romance that I would recommend to those who like heat with their history.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Oooo, that language is definitely cringe-worthy. I looked at this book and NEVER would have thought that it would be an erotic romance novel! I don’t think this one would be for me but I’m glad you enjoyed it, at least somewhat. Great review, Sophia!

    Have a wonderful weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Yeah, there were some more sexual descriptions that just left me ‘ew’ing.

      It took me by surprise with the erotic content, too. I thought I was getting a lot of Japanese tradition and a romance. This one was somewhat that. Oh well. It was a decent read.

      You have a good rest of the weekend, too, Alyssa.

  • This sounds like a really interesting set up. I don’t tend to read very many erotic books mostly because it tends to slow down the plot and becomes boring after a while as you mentioned with this book. I don’t think this one is for me. Great review!

    • I hear you, Carole. I read a few by authors who write it well. I wasn’t expecting it in this one. The culture and history was my reason for grabbing it. I thought she did well with that even if I wasn’t very taken with the erotic element.

  • I tend to get picky when it comes to erotic stories and I don’t think I’m ready for this one. But it sure does sounds pretty interesting. Great review Sophia Rose 🙂

    • I am picky about my erotics as well, Vanessa. I think I have only two authors that I will intentionally pick up for it. I wasn’t expecting it in this one, but oh well. I liked the Japanese Pleasure District setting and descriptions of life there.

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Well some interesting bits but erms on the bedroom bits and phrases. lol That, I don’t think, would work for me.

    • Whew, yeah, there were several phrases of description that were just not sensual or sexy. I had to skip and put right out of the mood several times.

  • That cover is so striking. The story too — a romance and Asian history isn’t something i’ve read before. I have to admit, I did giggle a bit at the terminology it used!

    • Yep, I was browsing Net Galley and ‘ding ding’ that cover caught my eye and I had to click and see what we had here. The end of the Shogun period in Japan was definitely a draw, but yeah, comparing body parts and sexual activity to food about did me in.